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PCC Track's van der Wyk Posts State's Fastest Times In 800, 1,500

PCC Track's van der Wyk Posts State's Fastest Times In 800, 1,500 image

Already proclaimed the greatest women's cross country runner in Pasadena City College history, sophomore Tracee van der Wyk appears to determined to reach the same title for women's track and field racing. 

Van der Wyk, a Temple City High product, outdueled LA Trade Tech's Danielle Low to win the 800 meters event at the Occidental College Distance Carnival March 11. Van der Wyk's mark of 2:11.65 beat Low's 2:12.49 as she posted the state's current fastest time in the event. Low had previously defeated van der Wyk (first place, second place) at each of the three 2010 big cross country meets--South Coast Conference, Southern California Championships, and CCCAA State Championships. 

To show how fast van der Wyk was running, in a listing of NCAA Division I university runners, her 800 time is second currently in the nation to University of San Francisco sophomore Sophie Curl (2:11.58).

Also at the Oxy Carnival, van der Wyk participated in the coed 10,000 meters and her 40th place mark of 37:17.52 proved to be the fastest this season for community college women and second fastest woman overall at the Oxy competition. The fastest male PCC athlete in that same race was Wil Zentmyer in 19th place at 33:29.50.

On March 5 during the Ben Brown Invitational at Cal State Fullerton, van der Wyk blew past everyone in a race with all 4-year university runners, recording a victory in the 1,500 meters. Her 4:35.24 time beat Chloe Fata of UC Irvine (4:36.42) as the race's lone community college runner posted the state's current fastest community college time in the event. Her 1,500 time would put the Lancer 11th in the nation for all university racers.

That's not all for the talented harrier. In the 5000 meters at the Brown event, van der Wyk ran the state's fourth fastest CCCAA mark as she placed 22nd overall with a a finish of 17:57.40.

PCC teammate Elizabeth Lyons was 51st in the Oxy coed 10,000 meters at 41:39.53. At the Brown Invitational, Lyons was 22nd in the 5,000 C heat at 20:05.93, Marissa Morales took 23rd at 20:10.62, and Cassandra Lew was 26th at 21:23.04.

Later this year, van der Wyk will attempt to become the first PCC women's athlete to win a CCCAA state championship event since Elizabeth Heskett won the pole vault gold medal in 2001. No Lancer has ever won a track-only event race at the state meet. Last year, van der Wyk was third in the 1,500 and fifth in the 800. She was named PCC Co-Women's Athlete of the Year for the 2009-2010 school sports season.

The Lancers women's track and field team is currently ranked No. 10 in the state poll. Larry Wade is head coach of the women's and men's track and field teams with assistant coach Armand Crespo specializing in distance running.

Release Date: 03/14/11
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu